pa·​nache | \ pə-ˈnash How to pronounce panache (audio) , -ˈnäsh How to pronounce panache (audio) \

Definition of panache

1 : an ornamental tuft (as of feathers) especially on a helmet The palace guard had a panache on his helmet.
2 : dash or flamboyance in style and action : verve flashed his … smile and waved with the panache of a big-city mayor— Joe Morgenstern

Illustration of panache

Illustration of panache

panache 1

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Did You Know?

Few can match the panache of French poet and soldier Cyrano de Bergerac. In his dying moments, he declared that the one thing left to him was his panache, and that assertion at once demonstrates the meaning of the word and draws upon its history. Panache derives via Middle French from Late Latin pinnaculum, meaning "small wing" or "gable," a root that also gave English the word pinnacle. In both French and English, panache originally referred to a showy, feathery plume on a hat or helmet; its "dashing" figurative sense developed from the verve and swagger of one bold enough to wear such an adornment in public. When the dying Cyrano turned his huge nose heavenward and spoke of his panache, his nose became the literal and figurative pinnacle of a multifaceted pun.

Examples of panache in a Sentence

She played the role of hostess with great panache.

Recent Examples on the Web

William Shawcross covers the Queen Mother’s 101 years with panache. WSJ, "Five Best: Robert Hardman on the Making of the Modern Monarchy," 25 Jan. 2019 The stars, playing their own instruments with panache, include guitarist Zach (Vincent Molden), drummer Freddy (Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton), bassist Katie (Theodora Silverman) and keyboardist Lawrence (Theo Mitchell-Penner). David L. Coddon,, "'School of Rock' strikes all the right chords in San Diego debut," 14 June 2018 Swearing with panache has always been associated, in my mind at least, with a willingness to take risks, and not just linguistic ones. Gully Wells, Town & Country, "Elegant Expletives: A Socialite's Guide to the F-Bomb," 7 Aug. 2014 The job of a great hotel is to spoil and entertain, and the exhibition also does that with panache and a wink. Oscar Humphries, Vogue, "The Glamorous Objets of the Old Ritz Paris, Now on View (and Soon For Sale)," 13 Apr. 2018 Duchovny actually demonstrates some literary panache. Ron Charles,, "As a novelist, David Duchovny is no Sean Penn," 3 May 2018 In city where bland, all-glass skins have sadly become the default, the composition offers some welcome panache. Inga Saffron,, "This new apartment tower prepares Philly for a world without private cars," 14 Mar. 2018 Lively’s retort was spotted by the Instagram account Comments by Celebs and after mentioning the witty reply, fans of the actress jumped to her defense and saluted her sharp panache. Julius Young, Fox News, "Blake Lively responds to critic who says she should fire her stylist: 'She won't leave me alone'," 24 Aug. 2018 With so much panache, could a new romance be on the horizon? Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What August's Scorpio Horoscope Means for You," 30 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'panache.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of panache

1553, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for panache

Middle French pennache, from Old Italian pennacchio, from Late Latin pinnaculum small wing — more at pinnacle

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Statistics for panache

Last Updated

17 May 2019

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Time Traveler for panache

The first known use of panache was in 1553

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English Language Learners Definition of panache

: lots of energy and style

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What made you want to look up panache? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that collects or salvages junk

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